Hard snow conditions on Headwall.jpg Hard snow conditions on Headwall.jpgCRESTED BUTTE — Like most of the competitors at last weekend’s Subaru Freeride Series event, Conor Pelton got his start chasing gates.

Pelton, who won the men’s division of the two-day extreme skiing competition, grew up in Michigan and was an alpine skier in his youth. But the sport’s repetitive nature grew boring for the now-24-year-old, and he switched over to free skiing events in college.

“It’s just more fun to do something that’s basically the same as what you do when you go skiing with friends,” said Pelton, who attributed his success at Crested Butte Mountain Resort to “having fun, linking tricks and keeping it smooth.”